Product Description: This M40 single decal Heer helmet is a great example of an honest and untouched combat lid, with loads of character. The original slightly textured field gray paint shows honest wear from use, but remains about 80 percent intact on the exterior, with typical patina from age. It’s stamped inside with the lot number “T1236” and “Q64,” indicating a size 64 helmet manufactured by Quist. The decal on this helmet is a sought after “Big-Foot” variant that was a pattern used by Quist, and is about 70 percent intact, with some normal and typical age toning. The liner on this is intact and all there. The leather has darkened somewhat with age and time, this is typical for field worn helmets. The liner drawstring has obviously been there forever. The liner band features steel chinstrap bales which is correct for this period of manufacture, and there some buildup of old dust between the liner band and shell- it’s clear that this is the original, factory-installed liner that has been in this helmet since the war. The rivets are un-messed with. There is some rust inside the dome on the interior. The helmet is complete with its original chinstrap, which has been shortened, very likely by the wartime wearer. The chinstrap is a wartime steel buckle type that is a perfect match to all other components. Overall, this M40 single decal Heer helmet is a very appealing example with an honest “field” look- an untouched time capsule
Historical Description: When the German Army first marched into war in 1914 it went to the front lines wearing the traditional “Picklehaube” helmets. The war soon developed to necessitate the need for an improved headgear to protect the wearer. The German Army developed the M16 helmet in 1915 and began issuing it in mass quantity to its fighting troops in 1916. The M16 underwent changes to bring about the next model, the M18. Both the M16 and M18 saw use by the German Army during WW1, as well as the interwar years by the Reichswehr and Freikorps. In 1931, a new liner system was developed. The M16 and M18 helmets were in mass supply right up to the time the Nazi Party took control of the German government. During Adolf Hitler’s rearming of the German military in the early 1930’s, the M16 and M18 helmets saw extensive refitting with the newer liner system, fresh paint, and the addition of a centralized decal system for the newly formed Wehrmacht’s respective branches. Decals were generally placed on each side of the helmet, one side being the branch and the other the national colors shield or party shield. In 1935, the M35 helmet was introduced. This new design was lighter and more streamlined than the older style helmets and is what the world now recognizes as the iconic helmet of the German Military. M35 helmets can most easily be identified from the separate rivet ventholes and rolled eadges. With the outbreak of war, some changes were made to bring in a new model, the M40. The changes made to this new model was the use of a more matte field grey finish and the vent holes were now integral to the helmets shell. In 1940, the national colors decals and party shields were ordered to be removed. It should be noted that many M35 helmets were brought up to date by repainting them with the matte field grey finish and/or other modifications if necessary. These refitted helmets are what collectors now term “reissue helmets”. The next model helmet to evolve was the M42. The model M42 has the same features of the M40 with the exception of the edges of the helmet not being rolled and remain flared. This was to speed up production and lower cost as the war dragged on and the German economy began changing to a total war economy. In 1943 all decals were ordered to be removed from combat helmets.
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